Monday, August 25, 2014

A Whirlwind Trip to Paris. Literally. Almost

Once upon a time B, E and I spent countless hours planning Mutter and Vati's trip to France. And once in a lifetime I did something crazy and bought a ticket to Paris one day before departing. As people always say, better late than never. So without further ado, here is a short (relatively) synopsis of a sporadic, fantastic week in Paris!MONDAY, August 11th, 2014 -Arrived in Paris at 6:30 A.M. Waited in the airport for 6 hours!!!!! to meet up with Mutter, Vati and EP. Made an incredibly long trek to our hotel (I nearly thought we wouldn't find it). Dropped our bags at Hotel de Nice (very lovely, strange little place) and wandered over to Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame.

TUESDAY, August 12th, 2014 
-The day we walked and walked and walked and walked. Literally. About 10 miles. Decided to Walk to the Musee d'Orsay. Spent the morning immersed in impressionism (I say, I quite fancy that Monet). Decided to walk to the Rodin museum with directions from Google maps which had never failed me before (this was the first time and hopefully the only failure). Google's "10 minute" walk turned into 35. Eventually made it to Rodin's and saw the Thinker as well as many other masterpieces. Walked down the Champs Elysees and stopped at Laduree (the best macarons in the world, as well as the most expensive). Walked another few miles back to Hotel de Nice.                                                                                                               

WEDNESDAY, August 13, 2014. {Email of the day's adventures}
Today we had quite the day. Luckily, it turned out fabulously and not fatefully. We had planned to leave the hotel at 8:00 sharp to navigate our way through the metro maze to meet our Fat Bike Tour guide. I got up, got ready, and went and knocked on the parents door. No answer. I knocked again. No answer. I knocked for about 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, I heard some grumblings. "Whhhaatt?? What is going on?" Pause. "It's 8:00!!!!" "What??????" The door opens and everyone is in bed, scrambling to get out. Thankfully, we managed to get our wits together and out we went at 8:30. We even made it to the meeting spot with a half hour to spare :) Off we went on the train to Vernon. Before boarding our tour guide kept repeating, "now everyone just walk very calmly to the train." I can only imagine how many frenzied, frantic, tourists they have dashing wildly to the train. The ride was about 40 minutes; dad and I had an interesting time trying out the train toilet- imagine an airplane bathroom wiggling around (I nearly fell off). 

We made it in one piece to Vernon and walked to get our bikes. They all had wild names- Earl was "Istanbul was Constantinople," Mom- Helga Hufflepuff, Dad-Mad Max, and me- Natural Balance. Fitting, they knew I needed to be naturally balanced today. First we went to gather items for our picnic. We went to a lovely boulangerie and got baguettes, a tarte, and an eclair Nutella. Then we headed over to the market and bought a lot of cheese. Also some cider which we later found was very alcoholic. We headed on our bikes with the tour in domination formation (covering the entire road) to our picnic spot. After picnicing, we headed off to Giverny- which I kept getting confused with Givenchy. Not the same, at all. We road on a charming little bike path that at one point had been a rail road track. Claude took the very path when moving to Giverny. French Claude, the painter, not to be confused with mom's friend, Jean Claude, the chef. 

 We arrived at the house and woah. Was it spectacular. We went straight to the Japanese gardens and stood on the water lilies bridge. We had a lovely time looking at all the many types of flowers in the gardens. Claude meticulously picked out flowers from all over the world and brought them to his garden. We walked through Claude's home, which was also amazing. He had Japanese prints all over! Very cool. After the tour we saw Claude's grave- him and a dozen other Monets. In the same grave. We then biked back the way we came and stopped at a small grocery store to, as our tour guide said, "reward ourselves with a beer." 

After the train ride home, we made the trek back to our eclectic hotel with Marie Antoinette 70's garb. We now have a four person room, the "family suite." It's sweeter than anything you ever did see for our little family. There is what appears to be maroon and white Asian wallpaper covering the room. And I mean covering, literally. Wall to wall, top to bottom, the whole ceiling is covered. We almost missed the wall paper covered dresser- two knobs gave it away. The bed spreads are also a nice maroon and white to match, with maroon carpet to finish it off. I also have yet to figure out the shower. There is no curtain. I turned the head into the corner as far as it would go and slide into the corner, trying to only get the wall wet. Needless to say, when I finished, there was water everywhere. I stayed in while M, D, and Earl went out to dinner. They brought me home a club sandwich. I was so excited to eat it, bit right in, and thought, this is so strange and slightly disturbing. I couldn't imagine what was wrong with it. It seemed spongy and soggy and, quite frankly, wrong. I opened it up and lo and behold, raw fish. So much raw fish. I wasn't very hungry after that. Now I am in the napping house; people are snoring, so it appears it's time to be off to bed!


  1. Good synopsis of our trip so far. Just two tiny additions to your narrative that must be made. (1) we gave our alcoholic cider to our darling guide who was thrilled at our gracious gesture, and (2) we rewarded ourselves with a coke and a bottled water. This is very fun to read about our adventures, Lauren. Please continue!

  2. Mom drinking coke :)
    Live the trip synopsis! I'm dying to go to givern

  3. My phone makes commenting rather difficult- I will have to charge my iPad! Anyhow, glad you were so spontaneous (I cannot believe you bought your ticket and then left a few hours later!) because it sounds like you were a fabulous addition to the Paris Group!


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